Antibody-mediated prevention of vaginal HIV transmission is dictated by IgG subclass in humanized mice

Sci Transl Med. 2022 Jul 27;14(655):eabn9662. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.abn9662. Epub 2022 Jul 27.


HIV broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) are capable of both blocking viral entry and driving innate immune responses against HIV-infected cells through their Fc region. Vaccination or productive infection results in a polyclonal mixture of class-switched immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies composed of four subclasses, each encoding distinct Fc regions that differentially engage innate immune functions. Despite evidence that innate immunity contributes to protection, the relative contribution of individual IgG subclasses is unknown. Here, we used vectored immunoprophylaxis in humanized mice to interrogate the efficacy of individual IgG subclasses during prevention of vaginal HIV transmission by VRC07, a potent CD4-binding site-directed bNAb. We find that VRC07 IgG2, which lacks Fc-mediated functionality, exhibited substantially reduced protection in vivo relative to other subclasses. Low concentrations of highly functional VRC07 IgG1 yielded substantial protection against vaginal challenge, suggesting that interventions capable of eliciting modest titers of functional IgG subclasses may provide meaningful benefit against infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies
  • Female
  • HIV Antibodies
  • HIV Infections* / prevention & control
  • Immunoglobulin G*
  • Mice
  • Vagina


  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies
  • HIV Antibodies
  • Immunoglobulin G